‘Get your COVID booster,’ UBC researcher says as vaccine fatigue sets in

A researcher and assistance professor at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine is urging people who aren’t sure they’ll sign up for their COVID-19 booster once the rollout begins later this month to just do it.

Horacio Bach says regardless of whether you’re immunocompromised or not, roll your sleeve up and get the shot.

“If your last dose was more than six months ago, we know that the level of protection or immunity that this vaccine provides us, or even the natural infection, after six months start to decline,” he told CityNews.

Bach agrees with the initial focus on getting the vaccine into the arms of those who are older, have underlying diseases, or are in long-term care facilities.

“It’s proven that this vaccine prevented these people from going to the hospital. Of course, there are some cases that no matter, they will have to go, but for the general population, its keeping people out of hospital,” Bach explained.

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In an announcement Thursday Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry explained that updated COVID-19 vaccines are arriving in B.C. ahead of a fall vaccination campaign.

“Most people will expect to start getting invitations to get your vaccination starting right after the Thanksgiving weekend around Oct. 10,” Henry said.

Vaccinations will begin in long-term care homes starting next week, she said.

“This updated vaccine will protect us from what’s going around right now and give an extra boost to that long-term immunity that we still have,” Henry said.

Bach notes that the approved vaccine is proven to protect against the most prevalent strains of COVID circulating in the community.

“It’s great that it’s come in time before the wintertime, because as you know, as winter is coming we have the tendency of course, to be more indoors,” he said.

However, Bach’s recommendation comes as a survey from the Canadian Pharmacists Association finds that people in B.C. are becoming more and more tires of having to get vaccinated — something they describe as “vaccine fatigue.”

The survey finds nearly 50 per cent of British Columbians surveyed are at risk of tuning out to vaccine recommendations.

“After consecutive years intensely focused on vaccines due to the pandemic, British Columbians may be inclined to tune out this year, but getting immunized remains critical to protecting yourself and the most vulnerable,” said Christine Antler, Region Director of Pharmacy at Pharmasave.

“The threat of respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID, are still very much a concern.  Vaccines are the most effective tools we have to help prevent illness and the spread, protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and reducing the potential strain on the health care system.”

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